Spiced Up

Since deciding to not run the Big Sur Marathon and starting my double job duties, I stopped working out and have been more focused on eating a lot of feelings and anxiety. It’s been a bread and beer bonanza.

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The  minute I feel overwhelmed and short on time I completely give up even trying to make healthy choices. And what’s crazy is that it takes more effort to stop and buy crap than it does to just eat what I already have at home. It is craziness I tell you, CRAZINESS! It also doesn’t help that a really nice grocery just opened up right by campus and they have so many wonderful fresh meals in their freezer section. They also have a beautiful salad bar and all kinds of healthy quinoa options, but I’ve been getting the lobster macaroni on the regular. It’s only $6 and tastes like HEAVEN. Someone told me there is no way it’s lobster in there for $6, but do you think I give a crap? It tastes great!

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That mystery ocean meat macaroni is my 8 pm joy. I’ve also been eating lots of bread and cheese and PLENTY of Reese’s. It’s probably a good thing that we are out of holiday candy season because I prefer the eggs, trees, or pumpkins, but I can make do with a traditional cup when I must. Obviously, none of this feeling eating is doing anything to help me mentally or physically. I wake up sluggish, puffy, inflammed, and just generally cranky. I’m hungry all the time (also, shout out to Prednisone for that). Things don’t fit well and I spend all day in a food hangover which only makes me want more food. The usual. So, I’ve been a real peach – tired, stressed out, and cracked out on snacks.

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Are there people who just eat mostly healthy all the time for years on end? I feel like every few months I’m having to get my shit together. WHY IS MACARONI AND CHEESE SO GOOD??? Also, why are my pants to tight suddenly? I don’t understand why I don’t want to eat healthy. It is completely logical. My arthritis does better, and it’s better for your body and well-being. My skin is better, I have less anxiety, and my cltohes fit. But, also, why does a whole lot of cheese taste so good? Riddle me that!! Why can’t I want a salad like I want goat cheese with jam on delightful little crostinis?? WHY.

I’ve also not been working out because it hasn’t been a priority. There’s not a good excuse, I’ve chosen sleep over exercise. I got my act together on Sunday and went to OTF again which was crazy hard, but I am glad I did it. I went again yesterday morning (I was too sore on Monday or Tuesday to do it), and I can barely manage to sit down because everything hurts so much, but I did it! If I can just get through the next few weeks trying to make mostly healthy choices and exercise, then I will be thrilled. Hoping to do another round of Whole30 when I get back from Texas! Only time will tell.

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Here We Go. Again.

Since doing the Whole30 this summer, I’ve been wanting to do it again. I mostly stuck to it in August, then we went to England, I ate all the things, and it’s been touch and go ever since.

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I tried several times to get back on track, but it just didn’t stick. Then, I decided to start the full Whole30 again after my weekend with Stevi. I knew I was going to be beering it up at Oktoberfest, and I wanted to enjoy all the foods with Stevi, so I waited. And that is pretty silly because there is no reason I couldn’t make healthy choices in the weeks between England and this past weekend, but for some reason, I just kept eating whatever all the time. SO MUCH CANDY. I sincerely wish they had a sugar rehab program or some sort of brain surgery that removed your ability to even see sugary things.

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I started Whole30 on Monday and I already feel so much better. I’ve been sleeping poorly this past month because I keep waking up with anxiety (about things that are not even worth it) and, unsurprisingly, it’s hard to sleep after eating a bunch of junk right before bed.

Anyway, day four and things are going well. I already feel mentally better because I don’t have to make any choices or try to eat things in moderation. I hate that I don’t have the ability to do anything in my life in moderation, but that’s just who I am I guess. I have to have a plan or I just can’t function. I wonder what it’s like to not think about food all day?

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I’m going to Orange Theory three or four times a week and starting to increase my running. It has been so hard. I start officially training for the marathon in January, so I am trying to build a good base, but UGH. I have not been running consistently for too long. The other night I ran two miles and it was such a struggle. Two miles! I was desperately gasping for breath the entire and at one point I thought I might puke. I can’t wait for it to get easier!

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All the TV

Most importantly, Luke’s Diners are popping up all across the country tomorrow!! Go get your free coffee!!!!

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This past week feels like a bit of blur because we had so much happening on campus. I manage a group of students who are ambassadors for our office, and we had an event for them on Wednesday night. On Thursday night I went to a reception for a faculty member, then to see Cornel West speak (he was excellent), then I left that early to go to a senior recital for one of the ambassadors. It was a busy night. On Friday night I was going to take a nap, but I remembered that the Amanda Knox documentary was out on Netflix, so I watched that instead.

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The case has always made me SO ANGRY because of the rampant sexism by the media and prosecutor. It’s so gross that they used her sex life to accuse her of murdering her roommate in some kind of sex game gone wrong.

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I physically recoiled when they were asking her if she had ever participated in “experimental sex.” And the lead prosecutor Mignini hypothesizing that Meredith had confronted Amanda about her morals and that had led to her murder. It’s all so disturbing and gross. And yes, Amanda is awkward and does some weird things, but I see college students reacting oddly every day. It’s a weird time in life.

I did like that this documentary actually interviewed one of the most prominent reporters on this case (the unrepentant Nick Pisa) and the lead investigator. It was so disturbing to see the lenses that they viewed this woman through. God forbid a young woman have sex!

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Anyway, it was hard to watch because I wanted to kick my TV and I spent a lot of time yelling at people, but it was definitely interesting. I feel terrible for Meredith’s family and seeing all of this revisited must be a nightmare, especially since it has not truly been solved (I do believe it was Guede considering his prior history with break -ins).

I went to Orange Theory on Saturday morning and it was rough because I haven’t been super dedicated since returning from England.

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I spent the rest of the day being a proper adult and taking care of life business, then went to the university football game that evening. I sometimes feel guilty because I don’t care about any sports that require a ball (I had some bad experiences), but I went, enjoyed some wine, and clapped when everyone else did.

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I went back to Orange Theory on Sunday and it was especially rough since we used the TRX straps a lot. I am terrible at them! If an exercise requires more than one movement, then I can’t do it. I got my entire arm tangled on Sunday and the instructor had to come help me. WHY CAN’T I BE COORDINATED!!! I also was doing mountain climbers with my feet up on a bench and I guess I just climbed too hard because I knocked it over and fell. Good times.

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I relaxed on Sunday afternoon and watched some Gilmore Girls. I am SO HAPPY that Luke and Lorelei are reunited. I have no faith that it will last for long because Lorelei has the emotional maturity of a teenager, but my fingers are crossed!

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On Sunday night I attended a concert by our school of music, and it was AWESOME. I almost missed the whole thing because I thought it started at six instead of five, but I made it. The student on the left is one of our office assistants, and she is AWESOME. Her group is called “Chicks with Sticks” and they’re hoping for a world tour. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

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Working in administration can be disappointing and depressing at times (because I mostly only deal with problems), so I love when I get to leave the office and see our students doing great things. It’s a nice reminder of why I’m here.

I finished up the weekend with Westworld and I liked it a lot. I’m excited to see which path the story takes.

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I would totally want to go to this if it were real, especially if there was a Medieval England one!

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Also, what is up with Ed Harris (the dude in all black) real or a host? Is he a long term game player? How rich is he! He seems like he’s just there long term doing his own thing, so is anyone monitoring him? Is there a tie between Ed in Black coming to the park for 30 years and the last major failure being 30 years ago. Does he spend the night or have to exit each evening?

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Is/Was Dolores a real person? That was her in the photograph right? I was thinking she was someone Ford loved and lost, or someone he was obsessed with and couldn’t have? I can’t wait to find out what the significance of her as the “first host” is.

SO MANY QUESTIONS. Someone needs to podcast this thing. I need help understanding.

In Hades

I was responsible this weekend and spent it working with Lisa on our reaffirmation report for accreditation report. I am so thankful that I get to work with her because even when we are completely frustrated and pissed off, I still have so much fun being around her. For you higher ed folks, I am having the hardest time wrapping my head around the differences between WSCUC and SACSCOC.

SACS feels a lot like:

And WSCUS is all:

The people at SACS have always been helpful and totally nice when I ask questions, but it’s SO DIFFERENT HERE. I was asking a question the other day and someone told me “Put the standards you think you’re meeting, and we will let you know if it’s right or not, so don’t worry about messing it up.”

I’m just so used to it having to be absolutely perfect with 1000 pages of narratives and tens of thousands of supporting documents. For this report, we got to pick from a list of themes, and we can’t have more than 75 pages. IT IS WILD.

Lisa and I have been re-writing the report to meet our boss’s style (SACS man through and through) and to meet his expectations as a former English professor. We received various sections from different people, so some were written in third person and other sections in first, all with varying cases and forms because WHY NOT. And, of course, he has ALL THE FEELINGS about simple tenses, perfect tenses, and progressive tenses. Writing “was” followed by a word ending in “ed” (such as “The report was finished”) is the second best way to kill the man (the best way is by saying “hopefully” and insisting that you are literally full of hope at the moment). English is such a ridiculous language.

My boss was on vacation last week, and we assured him that it was okay for him to leave because we would have a revised draft ready when he arrived to work on Monday. I couldn’t sleep on Friday or Saturday night because we were still waiting on edits from people who was supposed to have submitted them last Tuesday. We had to send threatening emails because I would have seriously died from shame before showing up Monday without the promised draft. Thankfully, by noon on Sunday we had their edits, so we were able to spend the rest of the day doing the last of our changes.

I did manage to make it to Orange Theory classes on Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday. I quickly realized on Sunday morning that three days in a row was a terrible choice. My body cannot handle that at this time. I went and barely managed to walk during the treadmill section because I was so sore. For the immediate future, I am going to stick to no more than two consecutive days of OTF.

While I was checking hyperlinks in the report on Friday night, I finally watched A Royal Night Out. It’s based on the night that Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret got to leave Buckingham Palace to celebrate V-E day in London. The movie is a re-imagination of what happened that night, and the girls are older than they were at the time, but I really enjoyed it. It was sweet and fun, and Bel Powley as Princess Margaret was hilarious. Sarah Gadon is clearly ridiculously gorgeous, but Bel Powley (who is also so beautiful) gave the movie so much fun energy.

And then I watched QE2’s coronation because that is what awesome single ladies do on a Friday night (You can stream it on Amazon Prime!).

I going to see her coronation gown (and many other fabulous pieces) when we are in London and I could vomit from the excitement!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been studying my entire life for this moment.

Also, the trailer for Hidden Figures was released on Sunday night and it looks AMAZING. Whoever decided to pair Octavia Spencer with Taraji P. Henson is a freaking genius. What an amazing group of women to make a movie about, and thank God for something that isn’t a crappy superhero movie.

The book comes out in September!

Orange You Glad?

You are welcome for that highly unoriginal and hackneyed title up there. Sometimes everything is a struggle for no reason at all. Last week I started a new fitness routine. I’ve been running some this summer, but I have not been putting much effort into. Running in the evenings has been crap because it’s too hot to run outside, so I run on the treadmill at my apartment where it feels like you’re a baby bird in an incubator because the room is floor to ceiling windows on three sides.  They also don’t have fans which is awful. Hanging out in stagnant fitness-room air is not a good time.

I was getting up and running in the morning, but a couple of weeks ago a man ran across the street at me while screaming and it really scared me. Since it’s warmer, there have been a lot more men out and about in the early mornings. Most of them seem to either be drunk or dealing with some severe mental health issues. As a lady, I do not feel safe in that situation, so I have been running less and less in the mornings. My apartment gym isn’t open until 7 am, so since that is when I get to work, that obviously won’t work. I am hoping to run more when fall starts since the cooler weather means people are less active in the mornings and I can run after work again.

I also never found a gym here. I found one I liked a lot that was pretty close to our apartment, but they don’t have air conditioning. At all. Not even when it’s 100 degrees. They also don’t open until six am, and there’s no way I can get a good workout in and get cleaned up in time to be at work by seven (and I don’t have the hair that you can wear wet to work and then it will dry nicely). I really envy those people who aren’t sweaty monsters and can just  brush their hair, then go on with their lives without looking like they have been chased by monsters through Mississippi in middle of July.

So, last week I started working out at Orange Theory Fitness and I freaking LOVE IT. I meant to try it when I lived in Austin, then I moved. About a month ago I learned that they were going to open one near me, and I decided to try it. I noticed that my friend June had been posting on Facebook about going to Orange Theory and she seemed to be loving it (and has a super fit bod), so I messaged her with some questions. She told me about it and strongly encouraged me to give it a try. The new location was offering discounted rates and two free weeks, so I thought it would be worth a shot. Sadly, when I called I learned that they wouldn’t be opening until late September. I need to get this body in better shape NOW.

I then realized that there was another location only 15 minutes from my apartment, so I called them and they signed me up for a free class a couple of weeks ago.

I arrived a little early to get a tour and ask some questions, and then participated in a class. The studio space has treadmills (really fancy ones with FANS ON THEM, Y’ALL), water rowers, and then a section with benches, free weights, TRX straps, and those bosu balance things. Each day is a different workout. My first day was an endurance day and we spent about 30 minutes on treadmills running at different paces (they have walking paces if you’re not a runner). Then we spent the next 30 minutes doing different sets of 400m rowing followed by a series of exercises with weights. It was hard, but not impossible.

I liked that we moved around and a lot and changed up what we were doing because the time passed quickly. They also had modifications for each exercise and other equipment available for people who couldn’t use a rower. The instructor was positive and motivating without being annoying, and she walked around the entire time checking form and how people were doing. I also loved that the studio is kind of dark and has ceiling fans.

You wear a heart rate monitor (you buy it from them, but I got mine at the end of the month and it was half off) during your workout, and the idea is that as you work out you are trying to push yourself hard enough to maintain certain heart rate percentages. The “Orange Theory” part comes from the idea that you are trying to spend certain sections of your workout in the “orange zone” which is at least 84% of your maximum heart rate. It’s not the entire workout, but around 12-20 minutes of it (per my instructor). Your monitor connects when you walk in and you can monitor yourself during your workout. I’ve found several times that it has motivated me to push myself because I realize I’m supposed to at my “pushing myself pace” on the treadmill and my heart rate is at 72%. Not pushing. I’ve been surprised by how quickly I can unconsciously slip into an easier, more comfortable pace.

You earn “splat points” based on the time you spend in the orange and red zones, and you want to get at least 11 (I believe). We had a really challenging endurance workout on Tuesday, and this was my summary:

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It’s conveniently emailed to me before I even get to my car. You can see that on a day where we lifted weights more, the effort output was quite different:

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I joined 13 days ago and I’ve gone eight times. I did Crossfit a few years ago and I enjoyed that I got a full-body workout each time without having to figure out on my own what to do. I did not like that Crossfit was in an open air gym and had outside workouts in the sun. It was also so competitive and I HATED that people would finish eons before me then be just hanging out watching me struggle (they were also cheering for me and being completely positive, but it was mortifying). Orange Theory is indoors, and so far, there has just been one dude that finishes his weight rounds before the rest of us, and he just goes to the rower and keeps going. I feel totally anonymous which is my preference in life.